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Dear Mr. Nickerson,
Thank you for posting your request on the History Hub!
Military personnel records can be found at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. Types of services they can assist you with is obtaining a serviceman/woman’s DD 214/ Separation Documents, Official Military Personnel File (OMPF), Replacement Medals and Medical/Health Records. There are a number of ways you can submit a request and instructions can be found at: https://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records. When requesting more than one type of record/service you will need to submit a separate requests for each type of record/service.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NPRC has been closed except for emergencies. Currently, NPRC has increased its onsite staffing to 25% but will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels. Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Additionally, if your father was in the US Navy you may also be interested in the Index of Purple Heart Award Recipients, 1942 – 1950 (RG 24, NAID 6424319) https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6424319 for more information please contact the National Archives at College Park at: Archives2Reference@nara.gov.
We hope this is helpful.
1 person found this helpful
A complete service record will have documentation for a Purple Heart if he was wounded in combat. If he was in sick bay for an injury or illness that was not combat-related, he wouldn't qualify for the award. You can request a complete copy of your father's Navy personnel record from the NPRC, but unfortunately due to COVID-19, the center is only completing burials and medical emergencies. The Index of Purple Heard Award Recipients is helpful, but unfortunately it is not digitized and so you might have a long wait from Archives 2 before you hear back.
In the meantime, do you know what kind of injury he was treated for in sick bay? Do you know the dates he served on the USS San Diego? The ship saw extensive action in the Pacific, everything from Guadalcanal to the Japanese surrender so odds are he received a Purple Heart for sure.
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Please read read the criteria for a warding the PH if my memory serves me individuals that were injured due to on the job hazards were not awarded the purple heart.
Eligibility criteria for the Purple Heart Medal is as follows:
a. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to any member of an Armed Force or any civilian national of the United States who, while serving under competent authority in any capacity with one of the U.S. Armed Services after 5 April 1917, has been wounded or killed, or who has died or may hereafter die after being wounded
(1) In any action against an enemy of the United States.
(2) In any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the Armed Forces of the United States are or have been engaged.
(3) While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.
(4) As a result of an act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces.
(5) As the result of an act of any hostile foreign force.
(6) After 28 March 1973, as a result of an international terrorist attack against the United States or a foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such an attack by the Secretary of the Army, or jointly by the Secretaries of the separate armed Services concerned if persons from more than one service are wounded in the attack.
(7) After 28 March 1973, as a result of military operations while serving outside the territory of the United States as part of a peacekeeping force.
b. While clearly an individual decoration, the Purple Heart differs from all other decorations in that an individual is not "recommended" for the decoration; rather he or she is entitled to it upon meeting specific criteria.
(1) A Purple Heart is authorized for the first wound suffered under conditions indicated above, but for each subsequent award an Oak Leaf Cluster will be awarded to be worn on the medal or ribbon. Not more than one award will be made for more than one wound or injury received at the same instant or from the same missile, force, explosion, or agent.
(2) A wound is defined as an injury to any part of the body from an outside force or agent sustained under one or more of the conditions listed above. A physical lesion is not required, however, the wound for which the award is made must have required treatment by a medical officer and records of medical treatment for wounds or injuries received in action must have been made a matter of official record.
(3) When contemplating an award of this decoration, the key issue that commanders must take into consideration is the degree to which the enemy caused the injury. The fact that the proposed recipient was participating in direct or indirect combat operations is a necessary prerequisite, but is not sole justification for award.
Examples of injuries or wounds which clearly do not qualify for award of the Purple Heart are as follows:
(a) Frostbite or trench foot injuries.
(b) Heat stroke.
(c) Food poisoning not caused by enemy agents.
(d) Chemical, biological, or nuclear agents not released by the enemy.
(e) Battle fatigue.
(f) Disease not directly caused by enemy agents.
(g) Accidents, to include explosive, aircraft, vehicular, and other accidental wounding not related to or caused by enemy action.
(h) Self-inflicted wounds, except when in the heat of battle, and not involving gross negligence.
(I) Post traumatic stress disorders.
j) Jump injuries not caused by enemy action.
Hope this helps,